Mumbai

Tight security as city gears up for Ganeshotsav, Muharram

Towering over the rest: Artists give final touches to the 35-foot-tall Khetwadicha Mahaganapati on Saturday.

Towering over the rest: Artists give final touches to the 35-foot-tall Khetwadicha Mahaganapati on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

40,000 police personnel, 5,000 CCTV cameras to keep eye on festivities; teams set up to monitor social media; help centres opened to assist lost children

Over 40,000 police personnel and 5,000 CCTV cameras will keep an eye on Ganeshotsav celebrations and Muharram in the city.

The Ganesh festival will be celebrated from September 2 to 12, while Muharram will be observed on September 9 and 10. The police said security will be tightened in light of the scrapping of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status.

A Mumbai Police officer said, “The heavy flow of potentially inflammatory content on social media ever since the developments in Jammu & Kashmir have been taken into account. We have teams monitoring all social media platforms. We have also instructed our personnel and senior officers to ensure that any attempts at rumour-mongering through social media are immediately brought to the notice of teams concerned so that they can be negated quickly.”

The police said that the situation on the ground will also be monitored closely. DCP Pranay Ashok, Mumbai Police spokesperson, said, “More than 40,000 personnel have been pressed into service to ensure that both the festivals are observed peacefully. They will be supplemented by additional personnel from the Armed Police, the State Reserve Police Force, the Riot Control Police, the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, Quick Response Teams, and Home Guards. The Traffic Police, too, will be out in full force to ensure that there are no traffic problems, particularly on days of Ganesh immersion.”

Mr. Ashok said this year, there will be 7,703 public Ganeshotsav pandals and 1.32 lakh household Ganapatis. He said, “We have deployed special teams in plainclothes who will be on the lookout for antisocial elements who target women in crowds. Help centres have been set up at sea-facing spots to assist children who lose their way in crowds on immersion days. First aid centres have been set up too.”

Navy on standby

The police are in touch with other security agencies to ensure that there are minimum casualties on immersion days at major sea-facing spots. Lifeguards will be deployed in heavy numbers, while the Coast Guard and the Indian Navy, too, will be on standby, officers said.

The Mumbai Crime Branch has been instructed to deploy personnel in plainclothes to look out for any antisocial or suspicious elements. The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad has also been entrusted with the same responsibility. The State police is in continuous touch with Central intelligence agencies regarding any terror inputs, sources said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 12:58:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/tight-security-as-city-gears-up-for-ganeshotsav-muharram/article29311738.ece

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